Now in his 80th year, 'Battling' Jack Turpin is the last surviving member of his generation of Britain's best-known and best-loved boxing family.
Jack's father, Lionel Turpin, came from British Guiana to volunteer for the British Army during the Great War. He was wounded on the battlefields of France and invalided to Warwick, the first black man to settle in the area. Lionel married a local girl but his early death left her struggling to raise their three sons and two daughters in pre-Welfare State England.
As young men, the excitement and gladiatorial glamour of the ring lured Jack and his brothers into professional boxing. From a home-made backstreet gymnasium, they punched their way into the record books and into the hearts of the British people.
Battling Jack is a wonderfully narrated account of the life and times of a remarkable man who was once Britain's busiest featherweight. It is also the history of the beginnings of a black presence in British boxing. Turpin offers us a ringside seat at heroic battles and comic encounters. He takes us behind the scenes of a scandal that rocked the sporting world and into his confidence about the mystery that surrounds his younger brother's death.
Jack Turpin has out-stared ignorance and prejudice, tasted triumph and celebrity, and endured hardship and tragedy. Heart-rending, raw, honest and funny, his is a story that had to be told.
Following retirement, Jackie Turpin trained many outstanding boxers and is an acknowledged expert on the fight game. He lives in Warwick. W. Terry Fox is a lecturer, musician and writer. He lives in Stoke on Trent.
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